Car dealership offers apprenticeship advice

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A CAR dealership, which has appointed apprentices for more than 40 years, is offering its expertise to schools to encourage youngsters to take up a career in the trade.

Cecil and Larter, in Bury St Edmunds, is inviting secondary schools to get in touch to learn about apprenticeships in automotive retail and the subsequent career opportunities.

The move follows the publication of a parliamentary report, which called for more apprenticeships to be created in the industry for young people.

General manager Adrian Baigent said: “With the increase in university tuition fees, we think more young people will be looking at the alternatives and our industry is an extremely good choice for bright and hard working teenagers.”

The Volvo dealership, in Mildenhall Road, has taken on apprentices for 41 years and many remain with the company including master technicians Tim Trayher and Darren Leader, who started as an apprentice 20 years ago.

Mr Trayher’s nephew Daniel is the business’s current apprentice technician.

Recently, a cross party group of MPs and Peers highlighted the need for more openings in the trade for young people in the report Driving growth: Future challenges and opportunities for UK automotive.

Meanwhile, the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force has urged more employers to take on apprentices.

Their plea came after a CITB-ConstructionSkills survey found that the number of 16 to 19-year-olds in the construction industry has plummeted by 52 per cent since 2008.

The situation has been echoed by bosses at West Suffolk College, who say they are short of employers for those taking construction and building apprenticeships.

Vice principal Martyn Wagner said: “Our figures correlate with ConstructionSkills. It probably reflects the downturn in the industry. However, in other areas such as engineering we’ve increased the number of apprentices by 30 per cent to more than 300 in 12 months so there’s a significant demand from employers. Healthcare and business are also doing well.” Call Cecil and Larter on 01284 778899 or visit http://www.westsuffolk-ac.co.uk/apprenticeships/index.php